Analyzing, Interpreting and Assessing the Visual Art of the Taj Mahal Essay

Analyzing, Interpreting and Assessing the Visual Art of the Taj Mahal •Starting at the base of the Taj Mahal all sis elements of visual design, line, space, light and color, texture, pattern, and time and motion are all present. The Taj Mahal was completed in 1648 C. E. after 22 years of construction by Muslim Emperor Shan Jahan and master architect Ustad Isa. The Taj was erected on a square base that measures 186 x 186 feet, with the four corners truncated, which created an unequal octagon. Immediately upon first sight one can see the self-replicating geometry and symmetrical design.

Varieties of lines are visible from straight lines of the base to the round dome 213 feet above. Each archway is exactly the same shape, pointed arch, but not all equal in size. Gems, designs and calligraphy can be found inside and out of the white marble masterpiece. The white marble design gives it a smooth texture and clean appearance. Depending on the time and light it will appear to change color, some say this identifies the moods of women. The color is reflected from the light and red sandstone used to construct surrounding structures.

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The reflection of the Taj can be seen on the Jumna River that flows on the backside of the Taj Mahal. •The Taj Mahal is extremely well balanced in its design. Each side of the Taj Mahal is exactly the same giving it a symmetrical appearance. The focal point is the entire main structure that is immediately visible and almost framed by the gateway entrance. The large scale, equally proportioned project was completed over twenty-two years to resemble the love of his deceased wife. The visual rhythm can be identified in the repetitious use of over 25 different semi precious stones and calligraphy throughout the design.

Unity is seen in its symmetry proportion and white marble, yet is not lost in the variety of lines that are present. The variety of color is present because of the reddish mosque on both sides the give the illusion of the white marble changing color and one on each side allows it to maintain its symmetry. •The quality of the architectural design of the Taj Mahal is superior. Every aspect of the design was well planned and intentional. The large scale and symmetrical design with the basic geometric principles is easily visible with the pointed arches within a rectangular frame also giving depth to the structure.

Shan Jahan’s creation of the Taj Mahal was inspired by the promise he made to his dying wife on her deathbed, to build the richest mausoleum over her grave. After twenty-two years of construction the elaborate masterpiece was finished and is now considered one of the most beautiful and costly tombs. The deep love he had for his wife is resembled throughout each detail of the design. The Taj Mahal translated means “crown of palaces” to which one could say it is absolutely the most beautiful palace. •The Taj Mahal today attracts over two million visitors a year and is one of the most beautiful and costly tombs in the world.

Identifying the Taj Mahal as great art through the considerable amount of time it took to construct and the intricate detail of the design one can say that it is considered great art. Although many see the beauty, there are questions regarding the dark cultural implications the construction of the Taj Mahal may have had. To have such a rich, valuable, large-scale project, inside of a culture that is primarily poor is not accepted by all. References Sayre, H. (2012). A world of art. (Sixth ed. ). Pearson Education, Inc. Zahoor, A. (1990-1997). Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Retrieved from http://www. islamicity. com/culture/taj/default. htm